Kickoff For March 25, 2024

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I’ve found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

If you’ve been reading the intros to the Monday Kickoff for the last couple of weeks, you’ll know that this is the last edition to come to you via this channel and in this shape. I’ll be moving to an email-only format next week. I hope you’ll stick with me.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

Am I One of the Last Living Relatives of a Literary Legend?, wherein learn about the life of Polish author and artist Bruno Schulz, and join writer Katherine Schulz in pondering whether she has a familial connection to the writer and the question Who has the right to claim a relationship to Bruno Schulz?

To avert climate disaster, what if one rogue nation dimmed the Sun?, wherein India Bourke explains an idea from climate fiction and whether something like that could work in reality.

You Won’t Survive As Human Capital, wherein Ash Milton introduces us to the titular idea, and looks at why embracing that idea does not reflect the present.

The Killing of a Berlin Power Broker, wherein we learn about the murder of Hanno Klein, a much-resented bureaucrat responsible for channelling foreign investment to modern Berlin in the 1990s, and about some of the potential motives for this unsolved crime.

The Silent Treatment: Solitary Confinement’s Unlikely Origins, wherein we learn about the origins of idea to isolate prisoners, its religious underpinnings, and how that punishment can be traced to the concept of redemption.

Did SEO experts ruin the internet or did Google?, wherein we’re introduced to a few of the scumbags who’ve polluted the internet, and search engines (not just Google), with crap and how thanks to their efforts SEO is baked into everything.

How to Lose a Library, wherein Carolyn Dever reflects on the October, 2023 cyberattack on the British Library and ponders the questions [W]hat did those cyberterrorists steal? and What is a library anyway?

The Economics of Time Travel, wherein Stuart Mills argues that people aren’t visiting us from the future because making jaunts to the past offers no economic benefit to a future time travelling civilisation.

The Hoffman Wobble, wherein Ben Lerner spins a tale (which may or may not be real) about gaming Wikipedia and, by extension, how easy it’s become to warp facts online.

And that’s it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt